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Breast ultrasound: how it is done

Breast ultrasound is an important examination for assessing breast health, both in women and men. It is non-invasive and allows the patient to resume their activities immediately. It is particularly recommended for women under 40-45 years old, while for more mature breasts, it is complemented by mammography for a more comprehensive examination.

It can be easily performed on an outpatient basis and requires minimal time. Let’s see in detail what it involves.

How breast ultrasound works

Breast ultrasound, also called breast sonography, utilizes ultrasound technology to produce detailed images of the inside of the breast. Depending on the different tissues encountered, the sound waves are deformed and then processed by the instrument into different aspects. In the area dedicated to imaging diagnostics at MiniHospital “Sandro Pertini,” breast ultrasound is performed using a Philips Affiniti 50 ultrasound machine, which allows for ultrasound and color Doppler examinations, ensuring both speed of execution and maximum accuracy of results.

What is breast ultrasound used for

Breast ultrasound is used to identify the presence or absence of lesions, even small ones, and to obtain information about their benign or malignant nature. With this examination, it is also possible to check the health of the axillary lymph nodes. Breast ultrasound is typically performed after manual breast palpation or self-examination has detected breast nodules. This examination is also very useful for diagnosing mastitis and abscesses, breast cysts, and fibroadenomas.

Difference between breast ultrasound and mammography

Breast ultrasound is indicated for examining the breasts of young women under 40-45 years old, whereas mammography is used for screening purposes. In some cases, mammography is combined with breast ultrasound for a more comprehensive assessment. This is because mammography can detect microcalcifications but cannot determine their nature, which is where breast ultrasound comes into play.

How breast ultrasound is performed

Breast ultrasound is a simple and fast examination that does not require preparation. The patient lies supine on the examination table with the breast exposed and the corresponding arm bent behind the head. The physician applies gel to the area to be examined, which enhances the smoothness of the ultrasound probe. Breast ultrasound typically lasts between 20 and 30 minutes, causes no pain, and has no harmful effects on the body. Once the breast ultrasound examination is completed, the patient can immediately resume their daily activities.

Who can undergo breast ultrasound

Breast ultrasound can be performed on anyone. In women, breast ultrasound can be performed at any time during the menstrual cycle and even during pregnancy.


  • It is advisable to bring any previous ultrasounds performed on the same body area.
  • It is advisable to bring any records of previous specialist visits.

Breast ultrasound at MiniHospital

MiniHospital “Sandro Pertini” performs breast ultrasound in its clinics and in total safety. In particular, in the imaging diagnostics area, unilateral right breast ultrasound, unilateral left breast ultrasound, and bilateral breast ultrasound are performed. To undergo this examination, it is necessary to make an appointment. You can book your visit by sending an email to or by calling our office at 0587.609134.

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